Author’s Note: This was written based on spoilers for “Otis, California,” before the episode actually aired.
I wanted to badly to believe.
We are all numb, sitting here in the echo of a voice we all thought we would never again have to fear. I am in the center of the hole, surrounded by the silent friends who suddenly don’t know the words to speak to each other or to me because our safety has been shattered. John, George and Grace are all cocooned as I am in this brutal numbness. And Bailey…
Bailey has his arms folded around me. One hand is tangled in the hair on my neck and the other is at my back, holding me tight against him as if he meant to somehow draw me physically into his heart and there protect me. I wish he could. I want him to.
I feel his murmured voice against my temple, whispering heartbroken apologies without words, just as his eyes did the last time Jack re-entered our lives. As the numbness begins to fade, I wish that I could crawl up into those eyes, wrap myself in that voice, and hide away in the safety of him forever. But I can’t. No matter what I want.
What do I do now? Do I throw away our beautiful new home and retreat back into the cloister of our fortress, casting away hope with it? Do I go back to being afraid every second, afraid to breathe, to feel, afraid to live, to love, afraid to do anything that Jack might take away from me? And how do I tell Chloe and Angel that their lives are once again in danger? That we all are, because I made a mistake?
I don’t want to do any of those things.
I wanted to believe so badly that I glued and framed the puzzle still incomplete. I believed because he wanted me to and led me to. He guided the game and I danced it, allowing myself to be illusioned. I wanted to believe because I wanted to see an end. He wanted me to because he wanted to see me relax and open his way for a new beginning.
Oh, God, how do I walk out of this room ever again? But how do I stay, when two of the most important people in my life are still outside and vulnerable?
I never wanted this.
I wanted to believe he was gone.
I just want it to end.
End Note: This is only relevant to the story in the most peripheral sense, but I thought readers might appreciate it anyway. Several years ago, I had the extraordinary luck to bump into Dennis Christopher on the set of Carnivale–I was working as an extra, he was visiting a friend on the set. He confirmed something the Profiler fan community had always suspected: that originally Donald Lucas *was* supposed to be the “real” Jack, but the fan furor over the role being recast (even though DC had never been credited) was what caused the producers to ask Christopher to come back. Now, as a general rule I don’t believe TV shows should make changes based on what the fans want: let’s face it, we fans are fickle and what we want isn’t always what’s best for the story, even on the rare occasion when we can even agree on what we want. But once in a while, listening to the fans is the right choice, and this was one of those times. And getting a chance to hear “Jack” himself express his gratitude for what the fans did was the icing on the cake.